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Review: 8403 City House

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INDEXED -Zorbas

"Look at this one, Honey! It has a grill, full front porch, green trashcan, a full kitchen, a computer, a couch, a dinner table, and a loft bed! It has three stories. It even has a tree house for Timmy," Gloria excitedly told her husband.

The small family of three had been looking for a new house, seeing as theirs was haunted.

"How much?" grunted Ted.

"Only $39.99!"

"And it has a full interior?"

"Yes! Isn't it lovely?"

"Yeah! Call that Realtor, this may be the one we've been looking for! Timmy, get in the car!"

And so they raced off to buy their non-haunted dream home.

Set#: 8403

Name: City House

Theme: City

Year: 2010

Parts: 383

Minifigs: 3

Price: 39.99 USD, 29.99 GBP

Brickset

Peeron

Bricklink

Flickr Set

The Box

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Front, showing off the set in full. Notice the 'Modular Build Easy Start' badge in the far middle right. Also notice the 'Special Edition' badge in the far middle left. The background is very nice, and makes for some pretty packaging. I can make out a few houses, a swingset, and what seems to be a clock tower. The set blends in perfectly in its little corner.

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Whew, that's a lot of panels. It's really just highlighting the features, along with the modularity. Since I'm going over the features later, let's just move along from this bit.

Instructions

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Folded. Again. You'd expect TLG to be a little classier in a slightly larger set, but no. They had to screw it up and put the instructions in in such a fashion as to bend them to Hell. Well, after a few moments of bending the instructions into submission (:devil:), we have this shot. The instructions were sub-par, if you ask me. The color distinction was bad, and there were no piece call-outs. I was expecting more out of a medium set. The bad color distinction is in the Black and Bley. I kept putting Bley tiles in instead of Black ones, resulting in me having to go back a few steps, ripping the set apart, and replace the tiles for the correct color.:sadnew:

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Here is a random page. The background isn't very good, looking like some generic sky... This instruction manual sucks.

Pieces

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Here are the polybag'd pieces, along with a 16x32 baseplate, three 6x16 plates, and a bent-out-of-shape sticker sheet. What's with all the bent up stuff in this freaking set?:hmpf_bad: Anyway, at first glance, the pieces look good. The polybags are numbered for an easier build, which is always a plus.

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And here are the pieces. All 381 of 'em. They're all sorted out, for your viewing pleasure. The pieces are very nice ones, with plenty of uses. There are a lot of accessories, and plenty of 1x1 rounds. There's also an abundance of tiles and white bricks.

Interesting Pieces

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Interesting pieces indeed. We have a green trashcan (still confused :wacko:. Thanks to Clone O'Patra for pointing out that this is supposed to be recycling. I don't understand why there's no trash in it, though.), a green bush, several printed tiles, a 2x4 light bley tile, a yellow brick with studs on both sides, an arch, and a wiener. The entire time I saw the wiener, I was thinking of Quarryman's Mafia game :tongue:!

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Blech, here's the bent-up sticker sheet I was so pissed about earlier. I don't like stickers in the first place, and usually don't apply them. I'm going to do it just once, for you viewers, but I still don't like 'em. I find it ironic that the one time I do apply stickers, they're bent. I think that stickers must not like me much, either :grin:.

Minifigures

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Ah, here's our happy family. I've dubbed them Gloria, Timmy, and Ted, respectively. Let's just go down the list here, shall we?

Gloria is stylin' in her favorite star spangled top. She's also wearing her new green jeans. Looking good, girl!

Timmy is comfy if not stylish in his new hoodie. He looks great! He must feel great too, judging by that huge smile.

Ted is... Looking like a bum with that old shirt he found in the bottom of his drawer. He looks like crap compared to his two family members. He even has some stubble to round out his just rolled out of bed and threw on whatever he could find look.

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And the fashion show continues from the rear! Let's go down the list again...

Gloria's favorite shirt is still looking good from the back, and she's as thin as ever!

Timmy's hood shows here, with that nice blue color. Lookin' good Timmy! He's sure to be quite a catch when he gets older. :wink:

Ted... Still looks like crap. What the heck, Ted? Surely you had something better to bring to the table than that.

The Build

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Apparently staying true to traditional house building, we start with the foundation. I love the inclusion of those black pieces, it makes it look like the house has a crawlspace or gutters underneath. Good details already!

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And here we have construction on the first module. It has a kitchen! The oven and sink look marvelous. I don't know why that computer screen's there; maybe home security? Or maybe its an iPad :tongue:!

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A few more steps, and this module is completed. It has a nice dinner table, able to seat two. It also has some very beautiful windows. I don't understand the placement, being by the door, but I guess it's okay. Better for guests to be greeted with the lovely smell of home cooking! This is quite interesting to hold in your hand. It reminds me of the little modules in the expedia commercials. Here is a link to one of the commercials I'm referring to, featuring Pauly Perrette, no less! (For those uneducated, that's Abby from NCIS).

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And here is the first module attached to the rest of the set. Note the gorgeous blue awning, the sidewalk, the privacy wall, and the half-finished tree house. Looking good so far!

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And here we have it with a few more details, such as the fire hydrant, fence, and porch railing. The tree house is done, too. If you ask me, it has a 'General Store' feeling to it at this point.

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Here it is with all of the outdoor details finished. Flowers, the green trashcan (:wacko:), mailbox, folding chair, big green bush... There's even a streetlight! This is looking real good now. Just two more modules to go...

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And here we are, raring to go on the second module. Gorgeous windows, I now wish I had those in my house :wub:...

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And now we have furniture. A very nice black couch, a computer that apparently has been hacked one too many times, a coffee table with wine ready to go, and a lamp to read by.

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A couple more steps, and the second module/floor is finished. Now to attach it to the rest of the house...

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And... Done. The rain gutter was a nice touch! I love how you can see the furniture through the windows.

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The third and final module is swiftly taking shape...

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The roof is completed and a few more details are added, i.e. the solar panels and the chimney.

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The window is nearing completion here. Interesting technique, leaving a window sill on the outside and the entire window structure out more.

Set in Full

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And... Finished! Doesn't it look great? :wub: I absolutely adore all the little details, and the interior is really lovely.

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A quick shot from the back reveals all the full interior goodness. The house is a keeper! Oh, it looks as if Gloria, Ted, and Timmy have arrived with their Realtor to see the house! That leads us to the...

Features

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"Hi guys! Welcome to 114 Wickenship Place! This is a great house, I'm sure you guys will like looking at this one," said the Realtor to her eager clients.

"Let's begin with the outside, shall we?"

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"Here's a Foreman grill for you, Ted! It comes with the house, and I'm sure it'll grill a wiener perfectly," the Realtor exclaimed with the enthusiasm the job required.

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"Ah, I see that Timmy has already found the tree house... I'm not sure how he got up there, though!"

"Don't you know? There's an invisible ladder leading right up here!" Timmy shouted down to his parents and the Realtor.

"Oh, well I didn't know that, Timmy! Let's head inside, shall we?" asked the Realtor.

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"Hehe, I see that Gloria's found the complete kitchen! Let's head upstairs..."

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"Here we have the Family Room. It comes completely furnished with a black cow-leather couch, a coffee table, a lamp, and a computer with seat. You seem to be enjoying them already! There's more to see, so let's keep moving."

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"Like the bed, Ted? The sheets are 100% Egyptian cotton, with a thread count of 800. The pillow is stuffed with Ostrich feathers! There's also a lamp to read by. So what do you think? Are you ready to buy?"

"Yeah!" exclaimed the family in unison, ready to move out of their old Haunted Mansion.

Modularity

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Ah yes, this is a mini-modular. Well, here's a whole section to explore the possibilities! First, we have the top floors lain out, with the bottom floor right where it should be.

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Here's a nifty possibility of removing the second floor all together, making this lovely two story house. It has no family room now though, so it looks like a functional house with no entertainment possibilities. Just the bare essentials. Except for a bathroom, which I've noticed don't show up in Lego houses often, if just not at all.

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Here's another possibility. Providing that you don't mind not having a front door and you're okay with starving due to the lack of a kitchen, this may be the perfect home for you. Plenty of entertainment in the Family Room, and a nice cozy loft bed. Still no bathroom. I may just have to build a bathroom module and make this a four-story house :wink:.

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And here we have yet another possibility. I like this one, actually. Unorthodox, having the kitchen on the second floor (not to mention the front door!), but this is an ideal rock-climber's house. Climb up to the rain gutter and welcome home! Still no bathroom. All this talk of a bathroom, and I've really got to go now, you know that?

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Here's one last shot of the set from the side, illustrating how thin the house actually is. That's fine, considering it's only half a house. I quite like the back is open, it brings me back to the golden days of Lego Town.

The Final Verdict

Design: 9/10. This set has the old school design of and Open Back to maximize playability. This has resulted in an excellent and well design modern homage to the old school houses of the Lego Town era, and I love it. I would give it 10/10, but it has quite a bit of space left in the yard.

Build: 10/10. The build was super enjoyable. I loved every minute of it, down to attaching the roof to the rest of the structure. It never really got bland or boring, and it just kept delivering. It had tons of details, such as all the furniture and the tree house. This was a great build, I only wish it were longer. Excellent, excellent, excellent.

Playability: 10/10. This is essentially a doll house. What's not playable about a doll house? It's got three minifigures, which happens to be a whole family. There is tons of furniture to rearrange, and tons of outdoor space to build on to. This would be a great set for the ladies, even! The designers were pretty smart. Remember that window sill on the top floor window? You could easily put a window sill garden of your own design there. There's also lots of room around the grill outside to make some lawn furniture. The possibilities are practically endless.

Minifigures: 6/10. There were three minifigures, which is always a good thing. They lend this house a lot of playability, and two have nice detailing. What brought this score down so much? Ted. The dad. His outfit is unacceptable. I don't care what lame excuse TLG pulls out of their butts, he really could have had a better torso. Mom and Son had great torsos, why couldn't he? That's just lazy.

Price: 8/10. 381 pieces for forty dollars. It almost reaches the price/piece ratio butterzone, so I can't really complain. They maybe could have thrown in a daughter fig for the price, but I'm pretty happy with it.

Overall: 8/10. This set is essential for town builders. It has a wealth of house pieces, and tons of accessories. It looks great on a street, and has the classic Lego Town vintage feel. The only things I really didn't like were the folded instructions and sticker sheet, and the plain Jane Dad fig. Minor gripes, but they still brought this set down, IMHO.

Parting Shot

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Dobby, being a Free Elf, was enjoying his new house intensely.

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I'd SO love to own this beautiful set for my town collection, but unfortunately S@H tells me it's not available in Germany. :cry_sad::sing::thumbdown:

Any chance an EB member from the UK could get this for me please??? :wub: *goingdownonmykneesbeggingforsomeUKmembertoreply*

Prices for this set are outrageous on eBay Germany ranging between € 69.99 and € 79.99, so I truly hope I'll find someone from the UK on here who's willing to get this set for me.

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Pretty good review of this classic-looking set! I'd seen this house around a few times but never thought of purchasing it. If it had a realtor like that, however, it might have been an easier decision!

Funnily enough I like Ted's torso more than the others, but when you consider that the others have back prints I can see why you think it's dull. I would agree that Ted was the lazier compiled figure in the set.

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Great review, although the first couple of pics could be better. This set is great for $40 US, but at $55 Canadian, this goes from great to just average.

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Thanks for the review 'cralegoboy' of this cool old school type of set ! :thumbup:

I still think this is an AWESOME set even though I paid 79.99 at Toyworld last year for it, an excellent playset and fits in well with buildings designed in the last 3 or 4 years.

Well, you gotta give the robbers something to break and enter into eh ? :devil:

Now I hope that Lego's future city structures are of the same quality and design.....no to TownJr of the late 90's ! :wink:

Anyway, thanks again for the review and Brick On Everyone ! :grin:

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It's an intriguing set. I was really disappointed by the flimsiness of the City Center before, and this reminds me of that, but it also has some great unique parts, like the solar panel, and the super cool torso on the guy. I'm really on the fence about this set.

Thanks for the in depth look at it. :thumbup:

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Thanks for the review. I like the open back play concept. I'm going to get the set on sale.

For those bent booklets and stickers, I usually put them under a big pile of heavy text books for a couple of days and they eventually flatten out.

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One of my favourite set that gives me the Classic Town feel with the open back concept. I understand some of you don't really like this but this is one of the many civilian town sets which I am fond with. I enjoy the building process and if I got a chance, I will probably get another set to add along my street. :sweet:

Thanks cralegoboy for this nice review. :thumbup:

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Pretty good review of this classic-looking set! I'd seen this house around a few times but never thought of purchasing it. If it had a realtor like that, however, it might have been an easier decision!

Funnily enough I like Ted's torso more than the others, but when you consider that the others have back prints I can see why you think it's dull. I would agree that Ted was the lazier compiled figure in the set.

I kind of bought this on impulse. I'd been eying it for a while, and when I had the money I plucked it up. Good thing too, because it soon became unavailable around here.

Thanks for the feedback on Ted. The reason I hate him so much is that I have about 5 or 6 copies of his hair, face, and torso. I was just tired of seeing them.

Great review, although the first couple of pics could be better. This set is great for $40 US, but at $55 Canadian, this goes from great to just average.

Thanks for the feedback on my pictures, I always welcome this to better future reviews. Not that I didn't get enough of that in the academy, but whatever. The box and instructions actually were the hardest to photograph, and I'm sorry my photographs didn't meet your standards.

It's an intriguing set. I was really disappointed by the flimsiness of the City Center before, and this reminds me of that, but it also has some great unique parts, like the solar panel, and the super cool torso on the guy. I'm really on the fence about this set.

Thanks for the in depth look at it. :thumbup:

If you're on the fence, then I'd check around for prices. If you can find one for a decent price, I'd snatch it up in a heartbeat. It's a really great set, and I think you'd enjoy it very much.

Thanks for the review. I like the open back play concept. I'm going to get the set on sale.

For those bent booklets and stickers, I usually put them under a big pile of heavy text books for a couple of days and they eventually flatten out.

Thanks for the tip, I'll have to try that on my next set! :classic: Unfortunately, my next review only has online instructions, so I'll have to try this another time.

One of my favourite set that gives me the Classic Town feel with the open back concept. I understand some of you don't really like this but this is one of the many civilian town sets which I am fond with. I enjoy the building process and if I got a chance, I will probably get another set to add along my street. :sweet:

Thanks cralegoboy for this nice review. :thumbup:

Thanks for your comments, and I happen to love this set. I really do, in spite of Crappy Ted. I'd definitely buy another given the chance.

Thanks for all the comments!

Edited by cralegoboy

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Thanks for the feedback on my pictures, I always welcome this to better future reviews. Not that I didn't get enough of that in the academy, but whatever. The box and instructions actually were the hardest to photograph, and I'm sorry my photographs didn't meet your standards.

Don't take it personally. I know how hard it is to take pictures of these darn glossy pieces of... paper :tongue:

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I didn't really take it too personally, I was just annoyed at myself for not being able to fix those. Well, my next set's box isn't so glossy, so it won't be as hard to photograph as this one was.

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Excellent review for an excellent set! I own this set and I think it's great, the house design is realistic and the minifigs included are well thought out. :thumbup:

Very well done on the review. :classic:

~buddy~

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This is a nice little set,

maybe not worth it for the list price but it's easy to imagine

what you get, and you can't really argue that it should be any bigger

except for the attic which I always try to raise 1 brick if I can.

The only problem is that TLG don't make enough of sets like this.

Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be easy to find at a bargain.

This set is not listed on lego.com any more,

is out of stock at amazon.fr where I bought it for €32

and it never even got to sweden in the first place.

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Excellent, in-depth review of a fantastic set. I think it comes at a pretty good price, too. Thanks for the great review, cralegoboy, some of the comments made me laugh (a lot)!

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Great review cralegoboy! :thumbup: I liked this set, unfortunately I was unable to get it before they stopped selling it in the U.S. :sadnew: I don't know why TLG sold it for such a short time. I guess it was that popular? I gave this set an average rating. I think it could have been a little cheaper and having a vehicle would have made it better. It could have been a bit bigger too. On that note, I probably would have ended up buying a few more of this set over a the year to create a series of town houses or apt. complex. I may have to keep an open eye (and bank account :grin: ) on eBay. Only for the right price though. Happens all the time; some auctioned retires sets end up selling barely over retail :classic:

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Excellent review for an excellent set! I own this set and I think it's great, the house design is realistic and the minifigs included are well thought out. :thumbup:

Very well done on the review. :classic:

~buddy~

Thanks, Buddy! I have the same thoughts, and thank you for the kind comment.

Excellent, in-depth review of a fantastic set. I think it comes at a pretty good price, too. Thanks for the great review, cralegoboy, some of the comments made me laugh (a lot)!

Thanks for the kind comment, Gregorovich! I'm glad that my comments made you laugh, it lets me know that I'm doing my job right! :thumbup:

Great review cralegoboy! :thumbup: I liked this set, unfortunately I was unable to get it before they stopped selling it in the U.S. :sadnew: I don't know why TLG sold it for such a short time. I guess it was that popular? I gave this set an average rating. I think it could have been a little cheaper and having a vehicle would have made it better. It could have been a bit bigger too. On that note, I probably would have ended up buying a few more of this set over a the year to create a series of town houses or apt. complex. I may have to keep an open eye (and bank account :grin: ) on eBay. Only for the right price though. Happens all the time; some auctioned retires sets end up selling barely over retail :classic:

Thanks for the comment! Yes, I'd keep a look out for it if I were in your shoes. :wink:

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Thanks for this excellent review!

I think this is great set. I son't be buying it as I've been eying the new creator house in the summer. :classic:

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I got this set last year and I adore it.

It somehow gives me the vibes of a japanese modern house: narrow, 2 floors, little garden... and that's why I've bought it from my local supermarket.

My lego seller gave me the hint to go and buy it since it was a sort of exclusive just for the market, and not for game shop!

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Thanks for this excellent review!

I think this is great set. I won't be buying it as I've been eying the new creator house in the summer. :classic:

Thanks for the comment! That's too bad that you're not buying it; it's a great set that I enjoy seeing on my shelf.

I got this set last year and I adore it.

It somehow gives me the vibes of a japanese modern house: narrow, 2 floors, little garden... and that's why I've bought it from my local supermarket.

My lego seller gave me the hint to go and buy it since it was a sort of exclusive just for the market, and not for game shop!

Thanks for the comment! Hm. I never thought of it that way, but you have a good point! The more I look at it, the more I see that it does indeed look like a Modern Japanese House. Great eye! :thumbup:

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I've been wanting this set as an addition to my town ever since the first pictures leaked last summer, but I thought I was too late to get it. Then, yesterday, I was fortunate enough to find a few copies sitting on the shelves of my local Target (Super Target on Eldridge and Westheimer in Houston). It seems they either got a new shipment or found a few stray boxes in the storeroom, as I had checked the location earlier, so there is still hope to find this set if you check your local Target. Anyways, I'm excited to start building this set! Great review!

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